Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Running with Danes

Today I participated in the DHL - a 5K relay race in Copenhagen. Various businesses and companies from around the greater Copenhagen area sign up and it is really just for fun and bonding with your coworkers. There are about 250,000 participants over the course of 5 days. DIS ran today - we had about 8 teams, each with 5 members. Every company has their own tent, some large and some small. Also most have a grill outside of their tent to provide the team with a lovely barbeque during and after the race ! It was such a cozy time !

I love that there were Danish flags of top of every tent

My team was - in the order we ran - me, Ariel, Chalen, Kelly, and Olivia. We each ran 5K in less than 30 minutes a piece ! At first it was my goal to get less than 30 minutes, but then I changed it to just not stopping to walk at all. I really surprised myself and did much better than I had anticipated ! It took me about 27 minutes and I ran the whole way ! There was just such great energy all around and it felt so great to be surrounded by a constant pack of running Danes ! Hehe when I got back to the tent where our whole DIS team was set up, I was talking with Bo, an architecture professor, and he was talking about how he was running so fast and zig-zagging around and dodging all of the slow, fat ladies :P hehehe before it started, I had a feeling that there would be some really fast guys who would show no mercy while maneuvering the crowd, and I was right ! All and all it was such a great experience and I am so glad I signed up.

all of the great snacks DIS had for us after we finished running !

the lovely IT department minus our boss, Mads. I love my department sooo much !!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

R,R&R Rain, Rest & Relaxation

A rainy Saturday was exactly what I needed after a long, tiring week. While it would have been compltely possilbe, I wasn't a bum the entire day ! Around 13:00 I met up with my friend and coworker, Maddy and we went for a walk around the lakes. We had only walked around 1 when we decided we needed to stop for a break. We got falafel from King Kebab on Nørrebrogade and it was the perfect hangover cure ! And for 15 kr - you can't beat it ! After our pitstop, we continued on and walked around 3 more lakes. Then walked in towards the city center and stopped at a housewares store called krammer huset - think of Target but on a MUCH smaller scale. We shopped around for a bit and I got some spices, cute bobby pins, a flower pot, a DVD and some candy. I knew that I wanted to go home and spend the rest of my day laying in my bed watching a movie and that is exactly what I did. The movie I got was a Danish comedy called 'En Kort, En Lang' translated to 'One Short, One Long'. I went home put the movie in and immediatly fell asleep :P I woke up 5 hours later around 22:00 and decided to finish the movie. It was pretty strange, but entertaining and was a good way to learn some new Danish words by reading the English subtitles. You can read the description here. I had no idea what it was about when I was buying it, but all and all it was perfect for what I wanted it for. It was a great, chilled out day and evening, and exactly what I needed !

Bike Trip til Køge

Last weekend Sandra, Stine and I rode our bikes from Copenhagen to Køge, an ancient market town, on the coast of Sjaelland, founded in 1288. We rode 80 km (50 miles) roundtrip ! We went just for the fun of it - to get some exercise, but then get ice cream when we got there ! It was warm and sunny which made for a fantastic day. On the way there we stopped and ate lunch on the beach and noticed how peaceful it was to be the only ones there. It was a nice mini afternoon vacation out of the city. By the end of the trip I was absolutely exhausted and it hurt soo badly to sit on my bike seat ! I was proud I made it :)

view of the harbor in Køge

mmmmm my ice cream cone with a flødeboller (chocolate covered marshmallow) on top !
I so deserved it :D

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Do work

Its been a pretty hectic week here at DIS. The Fall semester students arrive on Sunday, so everyone is going a little bit crazy trying to get everything prepared. Our major task in IT is to set up a new computer lab. This is by no means an easy job ! This week we recieved 32 new computers that had to be unpacked, imaged (which means have all of the programs and settings put on), moved down the street to the new facility, and then set up.

so many computers to set up !

one of my jobs from earlier in the week was open every computer, and put additional memory in it. so nerdy.

beautiful flowers in my office make it not so bad ! - but really its not bad at all :D

Today it was mine and Olivia's task to move 32 monitors, computers, keyboards, and mouses (mice ?) down the street to the building where the lab is. It was extremely phyiscally demanding and took the whole day ! Luckily, we borrowed a cart from facilities and that helped alot. The best part of the day was definitly taking turns riding on the cart once everything was unloaded :)

Olivia pulling one load down the street. We must have made at least 5 trips throughout the whole day

me going for a ride ! best part of the day

yayyy i love my job. except for the manual slave labor.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Weekend !

I had such a good weekend !! Olivia and I had planned to hang out after work on Friday and we had a great time. When we got out, we went to a craft fair that was right by DIS. They had a lot of pretty things, but everything was rather expensive. hahaha as Olivia put it : "it shouldn't be called a craft fair, more like bouge fair" lol ! <3 her ! These were some of the best things I saw :

I love how bright and colorful their display was

these were cutting boards, trivets, and teapot covers with cool prints and patterns

form following function in true Danish design fashion

Olivia and I then went back to my apartment, made a lovely dinner of some salad and baked brie, took a walk around the lake, and then embarked on our adventure of the night. We headed to Østerbro and ended up at a small concert in Faelldparken. When we were pretty bored of it we decided to move on. On our way back into the city center, we passed was seemed to be a wild party going on at a dorm. It was the Egmont kollegium's summer party that was going on for 3 days ! We met a lot of nice people there, danced to great music, and had some cheap Coronas and Fisk shots. When it was time for us to go, we realized that the CityBike Olivia had rode out there, had been taken. There was no way we were going to walk all the way back to my apartment (2+ km) so we tried to both ride on my bike. At first I tried to ride w Olivia balancing on the back, but we crashed almost immediatly after we started. Then we tried it with Olivia driving and me on the back and it went perfectly !! The girl was an expert ! We only took one break, and that was when the police stopped us to inform us my red bike light had fallen off. We picked it up and reattached it and then went on our way :P it was so fun and funny !

Saturday we went around trying to find a used bike for Olivia to buy, but we didn't have any luck. We did have some luck though at Frederiksbrogade Is, an ice cream shop down the street from my apartment :) We both got a cone with a flødeboller on top and it was so nice ! Then I went home just to chill and relax because I had another big night ahead of me. A festival called RAW, which is a massive electronic dance music festival - the biggest in Scandinavia - with 7 stages and over 70 artists.

I was feeling pretty tired and hungover and couldn't really imagine myself going to crazy that night. Around 18:00 I headed over to Sandra's friend's Steffen's house for some dinner and then a preparty. It was so nice ! They had made a delicious lasagna. After dinner, I decided I should bro up and get into the party mood. All it took was a few beers, some Jägermister shots, coffee and Kahlua, and some Sensation dvd's and I was ready !!

lovely Sandra and her lovely cousin, Mia, and Steffen in the background

note the description - RAW energy !

such a good way to get pumped up for a party !

We biked to the festival around 23:00, and I don't know where the time went ! We danced the wholeee night. When the sun came up, that didn't stop us either. Steffen and I stayed until 6:30, and even then I was so sad to leave ! It was just soo much fun ! On my bike ride back I was very pleased to see that Lagkaghuset - one of my favorite bakeries - was just opening ! I stopped and got a kanelsnegl and a musli bun. I definitely enjoyed eating them in my bed when I got home :D


glowstick man !

the remnants of a great festival !

The next day after waking up at 15:00, I went to the grocery store, got some more food so that I could have a real meal, and then made my way over to Sandra's. We decided the best way to end the weekend would be to watch the first two Austin Power's movies. I forgot how funny they are ! Sandra was taking some notes on his mojo skills, and I must say...he's quite groovy.

My Room part 2

So I finally feel completely settled into my new apartment. After buying some bins for organizing my stuff, setting everything up the way I want it, doing my laundry, and freshly making my bed, I definitely feel at home ! Here are some pictures of the way my room looks at night. I'm happy to have plenty of ambient lighting, so its not so bright when I'm trying to wined down after my day.

this is the view when you walk through my door

view from my bed

shelf with my new bins that I got to organize my accessories, school supplies, and other miscellaneous things

some accessories organized and on display on top of my dresser

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Drømmekage aka dream cake is a traditional cake to be baked and served in Denmark. Here is a photo of the main ingredients. I will list them in Danish and you should try to guess which one means in English : hvedemel, sukker, mælk, kokosmel, brun farin, og smør.

In my new office, there is a rule that every time you leave your desk, you must lock your computer. In order to enforce this rule and to teach you a lesson, if you forget to lock it, my boss will send and email from your account to everyone in the office saying 'I'll give you a song and dance performance' - see weekend post - or 'I'm going to bring a special baked good in on Thursday'. Well Tuesday I forgot to lock my computer two times. After the second mistake, I decided well I have to follow through and bring something sweet into the office. It was also a nice excuse to bake ! When I asked my Danish coworker, Andreas, what he likes and what would be a good thing to make, he suggested the traditional dream cake. It is a simple pound cake on the bottom with a coconut caramel topping. I found a recipie online - in Danish - and decided to go for it.

I made the cake at the dorm, because when you are baking in Europe, everything is described in grams, and you need a scale to measure out the ingredients. I knew there was a scale at the dorm, and I knew I would definitely need some help translating parts of the recipe.

I started out by combining 4 eggs with 250 grams of sugar with an electric hand mixer. Then in a separate bowl I combined the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, and vanilla sugar. I slowly added the wet mixture to the dry and blended it with the electric mixer.

The next step was to warm some butter and some milk on the stove and then gently add it to the existing mixture. This was the last step to make the batter. So I poured it into a baking paper lined pan and put it in the oven for 20 mintues.

Meanwhile, I combined coconut flakes, brownsugar, butter and milk in a pan on the stove and cooked it until the butter melted and everything began to combine into a thick goopy substance. After the cake had cooked for 20 minutes, I removed it, covered the top with the coconut topping, turned up the oven, and cooked it all for 5 more minutes.

The cake looked perfect when it was done and it also tasted very good ! It was pretty simple, but the contrast between the moist and light cake with the gooey and chewy topping made it delicious, not to mention all of the butter and sugar that went into it !! My boss and coworkers were very happy and surprised that I brought it in, but they said they loved it as well. My first attempt at Danish baking was a definite success. Next time I want to try something a bit more complex and maybe with some fruity flavors.

mmmmmm !

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Danish Design School Exhibition

After work today I headed to the Royal Academy School of Architecture to see an exhibition. There were two going on - one of the DIS summer Architecture and Design projects, and one from the Danish Design School. Here are some of my favorite things from the Danish Design School's exhibition :

very cool jacket with a vest underneath made out of cork

multiuse seating, pillow, play thing

here you can see how it functions

i like the silhouette and style of this chair...but I did't sit on it so idk if it is comfortable

I like the color of this pottery, and the fact that there way clay soft ice cream in it for display purposes !

there were also a few questionable designs...such as this man dress with a tail

Sun After Rain

So last night I was biking, on my way to meet some co workers and enjoy a beer in the city. As I was just pulling out of my street, I thought I felt a bit of rain, but I thought 'no...that can't be right' because I had been out riding my bike all evening and in the beautiful sun with clear skies. But surely enough, with the typical Danish weather, it turned out that there was a massive rainstorm on its way and I was about to be right in the middle of it ! I tried to out bike it but that didn't work :P I wrapped my scarf around my head and when I decided enough was enough, I stopped to take shelter under a large awning of the department store, Magasin. I waited it out for 10 minutes then went to find my friends who were also finding shelter, not too far away. Our cute plans of drinking beers in Nyhavn, the most pictureseqe harbor in Copenhagen, had been foiled and we ended up buying beers at 7-11 and drinking on a stoop under an awning. Hehe it still proved to be a lovely evening, with us ending up at a place called The Scotish Pub with another co worker and some Danes she had met. It turned out that I knew one of them, Martin, from when I lived at Frankrigsgade. We had some beer and a lovely conversation, mostly about Americans and their reactions to Danish culture. All in all it was a fun night...despite the rain.

the sky after the sudden rainstorm.
Its always that when the worst storms pass, the most beautiful skies appear.

Martin and I were discussing the difference in Danish and American humor.
He thinks this cartoon is stupid and I think its hilarious.
What do you think ?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Weekend fun :)

Even though my first week at work was filled with introductory meetings, a trip to Sweden, training and not too much actual work, I was happy to relax and enjoy my weekend. Friday afternoon was very stressful for me. At lunchtime my keys had gone missing. I ended up sending out a company wide mass email asking if anyone had picked them up. About 1 hour later, my co intern, Olivia, realized she had accidentally picked them up thinking they were hers !! I was so happy they weren't lost and so relieved to have them returned. That afternoon Olivia and I were also required to do a song/dance performance for the rest of the IT department, as a punishment for forgetting to lock our computers ! We performed Bicycle by Queen and everybody loved it :P

That day after work we had a welcome barbecue at the director of DIS's home in a suburb called Hellerup. I biked there with a big group of interns and it was great. After mingling and enjoying some much needed beers, wine and food, I had to leave because I was also invited to Sandra's mom's 50th birthday party that night as well !

It was much more convenient to bike to their home, in another suburb called Herlev, rather than take the train all the way back into the city and then back out on another line. When I got there I met some of Sandra's extended family and friends. It was a really nice evening and her mom made a delicious meal with delicious homemade sauce ! But the best part was dessert ! There was homemade cake and ice cream, meringues from the bakery, and fresh fruit. It was all so lovely :)

mmmm homemade ice cream ! I want some more right now !

yummmmy !

Saturday I spent running errands and relaxing because I knew that Sunday was going to be a big day !

Sunday was Stella Polaris - a free, all day, chilled out music festival at Østre Anlæg, a park 2 minutes from my apartment. Sandra and I got there around 17:00, and were most excited to see Moby, who was coming on at 18:00. He played an acoustic set on guitar, with a female accompanying vocalist, and a violinist. I was very happy with what he included in the set. My favorites were his originals 'We Are All Made of Stars' and 'Porcelain', and I also really enjoyed some covers he played like Johnny Cash's 'Ring of Fire' and Lou Reed's 'Walk on the Wilde Side'. This set was really good, but I was most looking forward to his DJ set that night at Rust :D

sooo many people at Stella Polaris - there were about the same amount behind us too !
Moby referred to it as Woodstock Copenhagen

Moby was already playing when we got there and per usual, he was killing it. Sandra and I had a great time dancing all night. We went to the front by the stage and had the best view. Maybe I was a little over the top but I kept screaming at him 'Moby I love you ! You're a genius ! You rock' :P hehe but I did see him smile a few times. And I think that was probably better than my original idea to make a sign that said 'Marry me Moby'.

thinks he's a god - maybe he is

my knees are in pain after banging them against the stage all night - oops

Thursday, August 4, 2011

August 4

<3 <3 <3
me and my Mom hiking in Norway - July 2011. I miss her more than words could ever express.
She was the sweetest, kindest, most genuine and free spirited woman I have ever met.

my mom really liked this song

Today was not an easy day for me, so I wanted to surround myself with people I love. I had the morning off from work so I had a brunch with Sandra. We had scrambled eggs with fresh chives, a fruit plate with mangos, watermelon, grapes, and banana, apple juice, and coffee. It was lovely.

Tonight I met up with Jake and we went to Halifax, a burger restaurant a few blocks from my house. Instead of the traditional beef patty, we both got a chickpea patty. I had just a simple burger with vegetables and homemade pickels, and Jake had the same but with bacon and BBQ sauce ;) Then we took a walk around the lake and stopped and got a beer before going home.

I love my friends and my new city.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Overnight Trip to Sweden !

So on my second day of work, DIS brought us - the whole group that I will be interning with this upcoming semester : 23 females, 2 males - took an adventure trip to Sweden. The trip was to encourage team bonding, and to train us on how to be fabulous study tour leaders. I will lead a group of students on a canoeing and hiking trip to Sweden in the first weekend of September. This tour was great practice and I'm so excited about it.

We took a bus and ferry to reach our destination in Kullaberg, Sweden. Our first adventure was orienteering- where you are given a map, compass, and several other tools, and then are expected to head out in search of 5 clues/missions. When you find each one, you must then complete the challenge described, for example : build the tallest rock tower you possibly can in 10 minutes, solve 3 tangram puzzles, or guess the distance of certain objects. All in all it was a really fun exercise and a good team building experience. Then we had a lunch of sandwiches from Lagkagehuset, one of my favorite bakeries in Denmark.

view from one of the checkpoints of the exercise - we had to guess how far the lighthouse was.
I think it was like 400 m ? I can't remember !

After stuffing myself with a 12 inch hummus and vegetable sandwich, we were then informed that we would be making our way to a café for coffee and cakes ! Woohoo !! It was called Flickorna Lundgren, and was favorited by late king Gustav Adolf VI. His favorite thing to order was the 'Vaniljhjärtan' - Custard filled vanilla hearts ! Let me tell you - they were perfect and delicious. The outside was light and crisp and had a specific taste that reminded me traditional sugar Christmas cookies. The custard filling was thick and sweet, yet still not too heavy. I savored my treat while sipping coffee, and having a lovely conversation with some of my new coworkers.

such a lovely setting for a sweet summer café, built into the hills and woods of Sweden

fantastic pastries - DIS ordered 2 for each of us !! They really are so kind !

Upon leaving the beautiful garden party café, we headed towards our final destination, a homey hostel, which I forget the name of. It was owned by a very sweet couple and such a great atmosphere of community and simple pleasures. Our group had a great barbecue, followed by the Viking stick game (lol i don't know the real name of it but its a lawn game where you through 12 in wooden sticks at the other team's blocks trying to knock them over - very fun) and we finished the night with a bonfire and s'mores ! One of my fellow interns made the hilarious joke of making an open face s'more and called it a 'smørre s'more' !!!!hahahahaha!!!! (its so funny because smørrebrod is the name of the traditional Danish open faced sandwiches)

The original plan was that myself and a few others were going to be adventurous and sleep in a tent for the night. When we heard the tent would now be a tipi, we were even more excited. When I found out the tipi did not have a liner on the ground and was just open to the grass, I lost all interest. We all ended up sleeping inside :P but it was still super fun and cozy.

our would-be tipi

All in all it was a great bonding experience - I felt like I was at girl scout camp, and also very informative about what we will be encountering when we are study tour leaders. good fun :D